Being a newbie – and having a quick scan on threads such as the ‘SWD-ish compilation’ and ‘who took up after SWD’ – I’ve noticed that the band most associated with SWD seems to be Ride.
Now maybe I really am a beginner with lots to learn and maybe the Juggernaut Rides 2 CD isn’t representitive – but I really don’t see them in the same terms as Ride at all.
I was a big fan of the so-called shoegazing scene at the time and I saw Ride a couple of times. I liked em. But I think time has been unkind to them. A fair amout of Shoegaze sounds dated or of its time to me with the exception maybe of Kitchens of Distinction (huge influence on Interpol/Editors etc) Slowdive and MBV.
To my (untrained) ear SWD may have existed in this ‘scene’ for a moment but they soon progressed. Their sound became very US, west coast, flirting with Grunge and Psychedelia. They remind me more of bands like Teenage Fanclub, Sonic Youth and Husker Du rather than the shoegaze mob.
There is one other band that always gets labeled shoegaze but quickly transcended that scene. This is Catherine Wheel, who I’m sure most of you know already. They followed a similar arc to SWD – effects, grunge, etc but then ambient rock rather than psychedelic rock. If you have never heard Catherine Wheel I urge you to give them a listen. Ferment, the debut is very Ride like, but Chrome, Happy Days are more SWD to my ear and the masterpiece Adam and Eve is just one of the best albums I own.
All in all, its a funny game, comparing bands. In truth, nobody else is really like SWD and thats the mark of a great band. It’s almost not worth trying to find similar bands because the best band at sounding like SWD IS SWD.